I recently finished a small group discussion group on the book Ten Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald Whitney. This is a book that made my top 30 list a few years ago (there is a chance it has been knocked out of the top 30 by now, but I won't tell if you don't). It is still a good book. It is a book that forces you to ponder your spiritual health.
One of the main takeaways from this study is how easy it is for me to think I am doing better than I am actually doing. I tend to judge my spiritual health higher than it actually is. That is why I need other people involved in my life. I need them to be there to help me accurately judge my heart in regards to my walk with Christ. I need them to help point out blind spots I do not see. I need others to speak truth into my life where I am believing false things.
But here is the key to evaluating spiritual health. This help from others must be invited in. Nobody can hold me accountable, but I can certainly ask for it. If I am serious about my spiritual health, I need to ask people to help me. I must open my life to them, to give them a free invitation to freely speak what they see going on in my life. And I need to do it without argument or complaint.
Sure, there may be times when they point out something that isn't a reality. Sure, there may be times when they go too far. Sure, there may be times when I am overly sensitive and take it personally. Certainly there will be times when it hurts. But those are not good reasons for keeping people out of my life.
In fact, I go so far as to wonder whether this is THE defining issue in diagnosing a person's spiritual health. I wonder if when we close ourselves off to others, that alone shows there is poor spiritual health. If we are scared of what they may say to us, could that be because we know there is something to point out. No one I know who truly longs to have a healthy spiritual life are overly defensive. The defensive stature comes when we do not want others meddling in our business. If there is a fear of others meddling in your business, what does that say about your spiritual health? Probably that there is something wrong.
Read the book by Donald Whitney. It's good. But above all, pursue a relationship with someone you trust and open yourself up to them. Ask them to speak into your life for your spiritual health. All to the glory of God and your good.